Freelancers: Beware of Carlos ‘Storm’ Martinez

Mr. Martinez.

This horror story of a non-paying client in New York comes to us via the delightful and important new resource, a compendium of stories about projects gone bad.

Mr. Martinez, a sound engineer, commissions a redesign of his brand and website for about $1,000. Developer puts together the site, which gets rave reviews on, turns it in, and sends the bill sometime later. Mr. Martinez refused to pay the full amount—the reason why is unclear. “When I finally sent him the bill, which was for a rate that’s about 1/3 of what I charge now about a year later, he said the most he would pay for the entire brand redesign, logo, website, and back end was $500, less than half the price,” wrote developer Jeff Escalante, who works at Carrot Creative and at the time was a recent grad.

The parties went to court, where Mr. Martinez claimed that he was not happy with the site. The judge decided in favor of the developer in ten minutes; Mr. Martinez must pay the full amount.

“I sent him an email and let him know my address so he could send a check and my paypal account in case he preferred that. I never heard back from him,” Mr. Escalante says. “Now I have to go to the police and have them go to his house and collect it forcibly. It’s almost a year after I started the job and I still haven’t been paid.”

Seller beware, he cautioned, listing Mr. Martinez’s company and IMDB page.

“Site coming soon,” says a placeholder on Mr. Martinez’s domain.

Freelancers: Beware of Carlos ‘Storm’ Martinez